Recipe – Energy Bars
Calories: 180 per serving
Protein: 5g per serving
Fiber: 4g per serving
Serving Size: 1
• 1 cup rolled oats and 1 cup rolled oats, divided use
• 1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
• ½ cup sliced unsalted almonds
• ¼ cup flax seeds
• 1/16 teaspoon salt (a pinch)
• 1/3 cup low-sodium peanut butter
• ¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey
• 2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges.
2. In a food processor or blender, process 1 cup oats until flour-like in consistency. Add the cranberries. Process for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Stir in the remaining 1 cup oats, almonds, flax seeds, and salt.
4. Put the peanut butter, maple syrup, and oil in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the peanut butter is soft and pliable. Stir the mixture until smooth.
5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the baking dish. Using wet hands, press down on the mixture to flatten it in the dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. While cooling, press down on the mixture to help it set. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight to harden.
7. Remove the dish from the refrigerator. Transfer to a cutting board. Lift the parchment paper and slide the granola mixture onto the board. Using a serrated knife, cut into 12 squares. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.
• Cooking Tip: When measuring sticky "stuff" like maple syrup, honey, or peanut butter, coat the measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray first so the ingredient comes out or off easily.
• Keep it Healthy: Nuts and nut butters are part of a healthy diet, but be sure to read the Nutrition Facts label to check the sodium content. For example, an ounce of unsalted peanuts (about 40) will contain 0 milligrams of sodium, whereas the same quantity of salted peanuts can range from 90 to 230 milligrams of sodium. You can save about 55 milligrams of sodium per two tablespoons of peanut butter by choosing the low-sodium version.
Recipe and photo courtesy of American Heart Association